26 answers

Potty Training- Is Punishment Appropriate?

Mamas & Papas-

DS is nearly 3. He is capable of using the potty, goes when taken, and sometimes asks to go. Unfortunately, within the past week or so, he's taken to deliberately pulling off his pull ups and peeing on the floor. These are not accidents, but his idea of either being funny, or being naughty. Making him clean up isn't having a corrective effect as he quite likes cleaning up. We've talked about how pee is dirty and we mustn't pee on the floor or anywhere but the toilet as we might get sick. It's sort of sinking in.

Our next thought is to put him in immediate time out for deliberately peeing the floor. He is purposely breaking a house rule. My only concern is, there is a lot of guidance not to use punishment in connection with potty training, so as not to cause withholding, etc.

What do you think?
Thanks in advance,
F. B.

PS- I mistakenly wrote diaper at first in the question. In fact, he is in pull ups.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

stickers and reward charts have lost their appeal. bare bottom commando just encourages this naughtiness. m&m's and other sweets don't have much currency. DS had a bad case of rash after being in underpants with plastic liners. daycare won't take him in underpants until he is further along. showering is not viewed as an inconvenience, neither is cleaning up the mess. will try to think up other currency for him, as he is a tough nut to crack.

F. B.

Featured Answers

Punishing him for peeing on the floor is not the same as punishing him for an accident.
Whenhe pees on the floor, he KNOWS that it's unacceptable.
Time out for peeing on the floor is a perfectly reasonable response.

5 moms found this helpful

This doesn't sound like it's a potty training issue. I suggest he's doing this to get attention. So I would be very mtter of fact about it. Give him no attention when this happens. Just clean it up, put the pull up back on. Be distant in the way you interact with him so he knows that this isn't fun but don't punish or reward by spending time on it.

4 moms found this helpful

I agree on the diaper thing. I would just say, ' mommy is putting you in diapers till you are really ready' then I would do it and move on. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Punishing him for peeing on the floor is not the same as punishing him for an accident.
Whenhe pees on the floor, he KNOWS that it's unacceptable.
Time out for peeing on the floor is a perfectly reasonable response.

5 moms found this helpful

While I completely understand how you must feel, punishment shouldn't
be connected w/potty training as it will have the opposite effect.
I agree w/the other poster............
I would not put diapers on him anymore but put him in underwear instead.
This gives a different feel.
He's still young. Boys tend to "get it more" at age 3 1/2 due to development.
Hang in there.
Put him in underwear.
Take him to the potty often.
Have him pee or try to pee in toilet at home before you go to a store.
When in the store, take him into the ladies bathroom & have him try to
pee before you go.
When he does pee on the floor, just tell him "no" then take him to change.
Try not to say too much negative or otherwise. This takes the attention
out of it.
Hang in there & give it another 6 months & you'll be on your way. :)

4 moms found this helpful

No more diapers. Put him in big boy underwear and take him to the potty every hour or so. Give him a treat for using the potty (a couple m&ms worked wonders at my house) and let him know that he's a big boy and big boys always use the potty. People don't pee or poop on the floor. Period.

4 moms found this helpful

This doesn't sound like it's a potty training issue. I suggest he's doing this to get attention. So I would be very mtter of fact about it. Give him no attention when this happens. Just clean it up, put the pull up back on. Be distant in the way you interact with him so he knows that this isn't fun but don't punish or reward by spending time on it.

4 moms found this helpful

Why is he still in diapers? Seems to me a possibility is he knows he has to pee, knows he needs to take off his diaper, takes it off not realizing that the minute it hits the cold air, he will pee? Diapers produce a harsh temperature change that underwear do not.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree on the diaper thing. I would just say, ' mommy is putting you in diapers till you are really ready' then I would do it and move on. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Well, my 2 cents. put the diaper back on him. Take pull ups away and give it time.
While he is capable, goes, etc. it is not the same as being ready. He isn't.

If we doesn't want diapers, explain to him why he can't use unders or pull ups.

3 moms found this helpful

I have a son and I guess some do this and some don't. He's figured out how his boy part works and it's innovative and amusing (like a garden hose). He can't do it with a diaper on, so he takes it off. What about big boy underwear?...show him how the opening works before he puts them on and that he needs to use that in the bathroom and aim in the toilet (Cheerios for practice). Let him know he can do pee all he wants as long as its in the toilet. Remind him he is a big boy now, he can walk, wash his hands, turn the lights on, even clean his pee, etc., he can wear the big boy undies and be a big boy. He will be excited and redirect his amusement to the toilet. If he continues to mess with the floors, don't make it a big deal - tell him - 'you know how to clean it up, tell me when you are done' and walk away. Don't hover and watch him do it or help. Once he completes the task, ask him to wash his hands and remind him that he has to pee in the toilet next time. Once you are calm (many minutes later), while he is playing, just remind him - 'remember you have big boy underwear, you are a big boy and can use the toilet' 'how can I help you remember so you don't have to spend time cleaning?.' It takes a lot of patience, and redirection. He is learning his own body and discovering it, so take deep breaths and help him think about his actions, use his ideas, tell him you feel proud when he uses the toilet, helps with keeping his room tidy, all those good things about him and finish again with using the toilet - he feels proud when he uses the toilet. I think some boys don't really care for gross/we can get sick thing...at least for mine - even now - redirecting, asking him what he did - he needs to realize what he did was wrong - and then pointing out all the positive things about him, his actions, helps more.

3 moms found this helpful

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